[BROSSES (Charles de)]. Traité de la formation... - Lot 7 - Pescheteau-Badin

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[BROSSES (Charles de)]. Traité de la formation... - Lot 7 - Pescheteau-Badin
[BROSSES (Charles de)]. Traité de la formation méchanique des langues et des principes physiques de l'étymologie. À Paris, chez Terrelonge, an IX [1800-1801]. 2 volumes in-12, garnet-red morocco, smooth spines cloisonné and fleuronné with green title-pieces, gilded frieze framing the boards, decorated edges, gilded roulette, orange paper linings with gilded framing roulette, same paper endpapers (period binding). I: (6 of which the first 2 and 4th are blank)-20-lii-452-(4 of which the last 3 are blank) pp. ; lacking ff. a1 and D1-6 corresponding to pp. i-ii and xxxvii-xlviii. - II: (4 of which the first 2 and 4th are blank)-498-(2 of which the last is blank) pp. Printed on wove paper. Originally published in 1765. Copper-engraved illustrations outside the text: 9 plates, 3 of them folding. AN AMBITIOUS AND INNOVATIVE APPROACH IN MANY RESPECTS. Influenced by sensualist philosophy, this treatise is the result of a far-reaching attempt to conduct systematic research into the genesis of language, at the crossroads of philosophy and linguistics. While the attempt to trace language back to a common original language based on the conformity of words and things proved to be an intellectual dead end, the conception of language as a long-term evolutionary movement obeying the common constraints of human physiology, the particular conditions of climate and societies, the normative influence of writing, and etymological rules, makes this treatise a precursor of modern philology. CHARLES DE BROSSES (1709-1777), a prominent figure of the Enlightenment, was a member of the Burgundy Parliament, where he served as President. A scholar, member of the Académie royale de Dijon and associate member of the Académie des Inscriptions et Belles Lettres, he was a friend of Buffon and a contributor to the Encyclopédie (article "Étymologie"). Passionate about history, exotic customs and linguistics, he re-edited Salluste, published a work on 7th-century Rome, a study on "navigations aux terres australes" and the present treatise on languages. President de Brosses remains most famous for his Lettres familières sur l'Italie, written during his stay in Italy in 1739-1740, but reworked throughout his life, first circulated in manuscript to the happy few and not published until 1799 after his death. These travel impressions, elegantly expressed in the form of a scholarly and witty discourse, were one of Stendhal's sentimental and aesthetic guides.
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